The path to war

Exploring a second-level agenda-building analysis examining the relationship among the media, the public and the president

Shahira S Fahmy, Wayne Wanta, Thomas J. Johnson, Juyan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study combines both the agenda-building and the second-level agenda approaches. It proposes an expansion of agenda-building research by examining the interaction among the president, the media and the public for an event that was not considered an existing 'real-world' condition. Specifically, this study uses former President Bush's five most prominent rationales for invading Iraq to explore the three-way reciprocal relationship among the media, the public and the president on attributes related to the pre-emptive strike on Iraq. The study found evidence of the information subsidies approach as Bush influenced media coverage of the Iraq War. The research also found more evidence of a linear model of agenda-building. The media and presidential agenda had only a limited influence on public concern about the war. Public concern influenced how much space the president devoted to the five issues on his Iraq War agenda and the press also had some limited influence on the issues stressed by the former president.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-342
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Communication Gazette
Volume73
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011

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president
Iraq
linear model
strike
subsidy
evidence
coverage
event
interaction

Keywords

  • attribute agenda
  • Axis of Evil
  • pre-emptive war on Iraq
  • presidential speeches
  • public opinion
  • rationales for war
  • Saddam Hussein
  • second-level agenda building
  • US war coverage
  • weapons of mass destruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

The path to war : Exploring a second-level agenda-building analysis examining the relationship among the media, the public and the president. / Fahmy, Shahira S; Wanta, Wayne; Johnson, Thomas J.; Zhang, Juyan.

In: International Communication Gazette, Vol. 73, No. 4, 06.2011, p. 322-342.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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